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Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I’m working on some Irish songs with my voice teacher. What is it about Celtic music that makes it just so darn catchy?
At any rate, I decided to put together another “Green Music” playlist for y’all to enjoy.

“Tell Me Ma” has got to be one of the most foot-stomping, danceable songs there is. “Gaelic Storm”, another favorite band of mine, does a great rendition. This video above is from “Sham Rock”, an Irish band that had a big hit with this song back in 1998. The foursome only seems to have produced one album as far as I was able to tell.

“Gaelic Storm” has probably written the ultimate Irish song with “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” “Kiss me,  I’m Irish/I am the wild rover/My eyes they are smiling/And I’m seldom sober …” The video showcases some of the band’s antics.

Kicking it up a notch is “Flogging Molly”, an Irish American Celtic Punk band from California. I hadn’t heard of them before and I was surprised by how much I liked their songs.

Coming back to the traditional end of the spectrum, here’s the “High Kings” rendition of “Wild Rover”.

Closing out our set is a swinging performance from another one of my favorite bands, “Great Big Sea”. They are rocking out with “Little Beggar Man” or as they call it, “Little Beggar Dude”.  As a performer and an audience member, you live for shows like this where the chemistry is palpable and the energy is pumping.

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How awesome is this, I ask you? Russell Crowe came on the Oprah show to promote his new movie, Robin Hood, which is opening in theaters this May.  As a very cool retirement gift, Russell presented Oprah with her own long bow and a copy of the prop sword he used in the movie. The sword has the words “Rise and rise again until lambs become lions” which is very appropriate for Oprah.

The gallant Ms. Winfrey does not squee like a fan girl which is what I would do her in position, but, as you can see by the video below, she is very touched and is positively surgically attached to that sword.

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This is a fake trailer made and posted on YouTube by chadkoon.  I have to say that I would totally go to see this version of “Macbeth”. Somebody e-mail Ridley Scott and tell him we have his next project.

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One of the things that YouTube does best is to provide a forum where amateur folksingers can display their talent. Here are several of my favorite balladeers gleaned from the wilderness of the Internet.

Dominique is a 58-year-old French language professor who has a fine, clear voice.  This song, “Ach, bitterer Winter” is a a folk song, a song frament really, that dates from the 30 Years War in Germany. The 30 Years War is just a footnote in history to most Western European countries, but to 17th century Germany, it was devastating conflict.  Armies of mercenaries, ostensibly under the direction of this or that prince, but in reality under no one’s control, ravaged the country, committing many atrocities against the civilians. Millions of Germans died, millions more fled. Some areas of Germany were economically depressed for twenty years after the war had ended.  In the sidebar, Dominque translates the lyrics into English and French.

Raymond Crooke is an Aussie folksinger who also writes and sings his own compositions.  “Jim Jones at Botany Bay” is a mid-19th century ballad about a defiant poacher sentenced to hard labor at the Australian penal colony of the same name.  I think Raymond does a great job acting out all the parts.

Jesse Ferguson is a poet and musician from Cornwall, Ontario who specializes in Scottish and Irish folksongs. Here he sings “Northwest Passage”, a song by fellow Canadian Stan Rogers, accompanied by the surf. The wave action bothered me initially, but I’ve become rather fond of it since.

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A summer of field work can turn grad students and student workers into zombies and here to prove this are the good folks at the Toolik Lake Research Station on the North Slope of Alaska doing their tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Those are mosquito head nets that they are wearing, by the way. Note the size and ferocity of the bloodsuckers swarming the camera lens.

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And even more “Tin Man” music videos you didn’t know were out there.

Music: “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Disney’s Mulan.

The character of Wyatt Cain (played by Neal McDonough) is the classic, hard bitten private eye dude. Initially, he has some issues with his “civilian” companions as this video illustrates.

Music: “Don’t Fix It” by the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

During the course of the story, Cain, the strong, silent, stoic type, clashes repeatedly with Glitch (Alan Cumming) who is the emotive, chatty, easily flustered type.  In time, however, they learn to like and respect each other.

Music: “Star Wars Cantina” by Richard Cheese (sung to the tune of Barry Manilow’s “Copa Cabana”)

It’s Star Wars, it’s Tin Man, it’s ….Barry Manilow? Richard Cheese parodies Star Wars and the Barry at the same time and the twisted mind of Surreal696 put them together with “Tin Man” clips.  A word to the wise: you are guaranteed to have that “Copa Cabana” melody stuck in your head for at least a day. You have been warned.

Music: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies

Me First puts the “punk” in “steampunk” with this fun, punk rock version of  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Somewhere Judy Garland is rolling in her grave, but, hey, it works.

Music: “Home” by Breaking Benjamin

It’s been rumored that the Sci-Fi Channel might make a sequel to “Tin Man”. If so, I hope they use this song by Breaking Benjamin which I think captures the essence and spirit of the mini-series.

Regarding this next offering, I must warn gentle readers that it is a bit spicy. If you are offended by saucy subject matter featuring that tasty bit of alright, Wyatt Cain (Neal McDonough), you may want to avert your eyes from the following video.  The subtitles are somewhat racy, but very funny.

Music: Ain’t No Other Man (musical group is uncredited)

If you’re not going to avert your eyes, you may want to have some tissues handy to mop the drool off your keyboard.

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An “Tin Man” obsession is a terrible thing, but judging by the flood of “Tin Man”-related music videos on YouTube, I’m not alone in my love for this Sci-Fi Channel mini-series. And now a sampling of my favorites:

Music: “Jerry Springer” by Weird Al Yankovic

What can you say about a song with such classic lines as “yeah, well, I slept with your dog, Woofy?” Nothing except that you’ve been watching a bit too much Jerry Springer.

Music: “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls

What a difference a few decades makes. Once upon a time, I would have regarded a cast that was mostly male as another example of the chauvinistic film mindset that limited film roles for women. Now, however, I realize that Hollywood is merely making eye candy for me.

Music:  “If I Only Had a Brain” by the Mount Hood Community College Jazz Chorus [Oregon] (1996 recording, now out of print)

This utterly charming cover of  the classic “Wizard of Oz” song is an example of YouTube’s underrate potential for sharing limited edition, out of print music with the masses.

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